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  Mortality in 1850

The Illinois River Valley was known for its unhealthy atmosphere of marshy lakes, humidity, and heat in the summer, with cold, wet winters. The 1850 Morgan County mortality schedule shows that 62 adults (over age 16) and 66 children died in a county population of 16,064. Only three of the deceased persons were over 70 years of age.

Diseases that attacked the lungs were very prevalent. For adults, the biggest killers were malaria, cholera, consumption (tuberculosis), pneumonia, liver complaints, and typhoid. Children died from pneumonia, whooping cough, croup (viral larynx infection), malaria, and cholera. Nine people fell victim to cholera in the summer of 1849. There were thirteen instances in 1850 where more than one family member died within a few days, weeks, or months of one another.

Mortality in 1895
In 1895, the Old Settler's Association held their 27th annual reunion in Jacksonville, Illinois. A necrological record for July, 1894 through June, 1895 provides more information about age at mortality and when people from different states and counties immigrated to Morgan County, Illinois.

For example, compared with 1850, when only 3 of the 126 people who died were more than 70 years of age, in 1895, 52 of the 127 who died were over 70. This may reflect the general younger age of the early settlers, although 34 of them had lived in the county for more than 40 years.

This chart and list below it show the place of origin of some of the Old Settlers' Association members.

Origin Number Average Year
of Arrival
Range of Arrival Years
Illinois 25 1840 1824-1854
Kentucky 15 1842 1825-1865
Ireland 10 1858 1843-1865
New York 8 1846 1833-1865
England 7 1848 1825-1865
Connecticut 7 1859 1853-1861
Germany 4 1855 1850-1856

Other states from which Morgan County settlers came are: Pennsylvania, the Virginias, Tennessee, Ohio, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Maryland, Indiana, and Missouri.

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